The DfE have released figures showing the high levels of attendance and across the UK and last week saw attendance levels fall to a low of 77% in the West Midlands. The full details can be seen here.

Even so, against this bleak national picture, our school’s overall absence rate (including all COVID absences) sits 7.8% – so 92.2% of students are in school on any given day this term.

In normal times, the national average for attendance is around 95% but The Friary has always been significantly above that in recent times, so whilst in a normal school year we’d be very dissatisfied with 7.8% absence, bearing in mind we have a COVID pandemic it is an excellent score. If we take the COVID absences out then we are at a stunning 3.8% absence rate.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “Even though we are far from out of the COVID woods, we are delighted our students’ attendance has held up, not just for those students facing crucial exam courses, but for every child. We have taken COVID very seriously, our staff have been fantastic, and we have tried to be measured in our steps. Elsewhere, our parents have been superb in dealing with things there end, and it would be fair to say we have probably had more than our share of luck. Anyhow, this is great news and fingers-crossed we can all keep working together to hold steady after Xmas and into the new term.”